Feb. 5, 2015
BOSTON - Boston University women's soccer head coach Nancy Feldman welcomes eight newcomers, including four defenders, three midfielders and a forward, to the 2015 squad. Feldman announced the addition of Mariah Alexander, Julianna Chen, Chelsea Churchill, Olivia Clossen, McKenna Doyle, Kelly Harris, Pietra Sweeney and Dorrie Varley-Barrett on Thursday.
"The 2015 class is one of the most diverse in our 21-year history," Feldman said. "They represent a variety of different academic areas of interest, geographical localities near and far, positional variety and soccer skill sets. While they are distinct, they each bring a passion for the game, for Boston University and for our team's culture, values and competitive status."
Feldman, along with assistant coaches Casey Brown and Ben Knight, have found a group of student-athletes that excel both on and off the field, which complements the returners who have set a precedent of academic and athletic excellence.
Mariah Alexander | 5'11 Defender | Boulder, Colo. - Boulder High School
Alexander is one of four defenders to join the 2015 squad and comes to Boston after an exceptional high school career. The two-year captain of FC Boulder and starting centerback of the Real Colorado ECNL U-18, she was named an All-Region Honorable Mention in her sophomore and junior year and First Team All-Front Range League.
The Colorado native excelled in the classroom as well, earning the College Board AP Scholar Award last year. Alexander is also a member of the National Honor Society and has been on Boulder High School Honor Roll every semester. She also held an internship in the Twentieth Judicial District Attorney Stan Garnett's office last year.
Feldman on Alexander
"Mariah is a strong and powerful central defender. Her ability in the air is special and she reads the game very well. There is a maturity and confidence in the way she plays the game."
Juliana Chen | 5'7 Midfielder | Milton, Mass. - Noble and Greenough School
Chen joins the Terriers as a decorated midfielder, having earned Independent School League MVP during her senior campaign and First Team All-ISL honors the past three seasons. Chen also earned All-State honors and was an All-New England player this year, winning both the ISL Championship and the New England Class A Championship.
Off the pitch, Chen is a National Merit Commended Student and earned Academic Distinction every semester at Noble and Greenough. She is also the Concertmaster of the Wind Ensemble (flute), the vice president of the Environmental Action Committee and is fluent in French.
Feldman on Chen
"Jules has been a standout player for the Noble and Greenough School and a big reason they achieved an ISL Championship this past fall. She simply `does her job', playing smartly and efficiently in the center of the park. A strong physical presence and tough on the tackle, she also does well passing out of pressure and initiating the attack."
Chelsea Churchill | 5'4 Defender | Carlsbad, Calif. - La Costa Canyon High School
Churchill is one of two California natives to join the Terriers this season, a state Coach Feldman has found excellent athletes in the past. Five of the eight seniors from the 2014 squad hail from California including Patriot League Tournament MVP Kai Miller, a fellow defender.
A four-year starter and two-year captain for La Costa Canyon High School, Churchill has won two San Diego CIF Championships and was a finalist at the California State Championship during her junior campaign. She also helped her club team to the semifinals of the US Youth Soccer National Championship.
Feldman on Churchill
"Chelsea is a steady, effective and versatile soccer player. She is the kind of player that consistently does the simple things well and puts her team in a position to be successful. Her defending instincts are terrific and she has the technical abilities to be a playmaker from any position."
Libby Closson | 5'8 Defender | Scarsdale, N.Y. - Scarsdale High School
Closson joins the Terriers after an impressive high school career. She was a four-time All-League honoree and three time All-Section selection. With her club team, she won two National Premier League Region 1 Championships and was a two-time New York State Cup Finalist.
Her club team, which she has been a member of for eight years and has started in each of those seasons, has won every tournament it has entered at least one time.
Feldman on Closson
"Libby is a mobile and technical soccer player. She is another in this class that has the versatility to play wide or central in defensive positions. She is a ferocious one-on-one defender and takes pride in winning her battles."
McKenna Doyle | 5'4 Forward | Manhattan Beach, Calif. - Mira Costa High School
The only forward to be added to the 2015 team, Doyle is accomplished both on and off the field. A four-year member of the Mira Costa High School varsity soccer team, she earned an All-Bay League Second Team and All-CIF Second Team selection during her junior season.
In the classroom, Doyle earned three Scholar-Athlete awards and was selected as the Model United Nations Best Delegate at William & Mary's MUN Conference. She has also made Principal's Honor Roll every year.
Feldman on Doyle
"McKenna brings pace and dynamism to the Terriers in large supply. Because of her speed and mobility, she will be an exciting attacking personality and she nicely complements the returning forwards' strengths."
Kelly Harris | 5'9 Midfielder | Phoenix, Ariz. - Xavier College Preparatory
Harris comes from one of the best high school soccer programs in Arizona. Xavier Prep has made it to two state semifinals and won the Arizona State Championship during Harris's sophomore season. The team is currently ranked No. 1 in the state and is undefeated. Her club team won the Elite Clubs National League U-16 Championship during her junior season and in the same year she was named to the All-Section Second Team.
Harris is a member of the National Honor Society, her school's Spanish club and tutor club and participates in EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service). Prior to her junior year, Harris spent three weeks in Kenya where she worked with locals to help strengthen their villages.
Feldman on Harris
"Kelly has both the technical and athletic components to be an effective player in multiple positions. She comes from the National Champion Sereno (AZ) club program and knows what it takes to win."
Pietra Sweeney | 5'6 Defender | Acton, Mass. - Acton-Boxborough High School
A four-year varsity starter for Acton-Boxborough High School, Sweeney joins the team as one of Massachusetts' top soccer players. She earned three Dual County League All-Star awards and was named to the Massachusetts All-State team and Eastern Mass All-Star team in both her junior and senior season.
Feldman on Sweeney
"Pietra is a strong and tough-minded outside back who puts her stamp on a match with her physicality and competitive nature. She is exceptional at taking care of her defensive responsibilities while jumping into the attack on the flank every chance she gets. Her service from the wide areas is both effective and dangerous."
Dorrie Varley-Barrett | 5'6 Midfielder| Chelmsford, Mass. - Groton School
Varley-Barrett is an accomplished athlete not only on the pitch but on the ice and on the lacrosse field. A three-time All-Independent School League team member for her soccer prowess, the Chelmsford native was also a five-year varsity hockey member and four-year varsity lacrosse member. During her senior campaign, Varley-Barrett helped her high school soccer team to a Class B New England Championship. She is also a three-time Welch Scholar.
Feldman on Varley Barrett
"There is something both calm and controlled about the way Dorrie plays the game. She has great instincts and can tip a game with her activity, much the way Jamie Turchi did for us last year, and by doing all the little things well. Her work rate on the field and her ability to make others around her better are strong characteristics of her play."